Thursday was a routine hearing in the Encinitas schools yoga lawsuit. Until… “the judge assigned to the case revealed that he practices yoga himself. ‘Does anybody have a problem with that?’ San Diego Superior Court Judge John Meyer asked.”
That’s according to the U-T San Diego. Its story continues:
Dean Broyles, who is representing parents suing the Encinitas Union School District in a lawsuit that has gained international attention, said he was fine with Meyer presiding over the case if the judge can keep an open mind about the plaintiff’s argument regarding spiritual connections to yoga.
The hearing did actually touch on the main subject at hand: whether yoga is inherently religious. From the story:
Meyer, who said he began doing Bikram yoga about a month and a half ago, likened the activity to simple stretching exercises.
“If you think there’s something spiritual about what I do, that’s news to me,” he said.
On Thursday, Broyles said the Ashtanga yoga taught in the district is one of the more spiritual versions of yoga. Meyer said he was unfamiliar with it and had not heard of other yoga terms Broyles asked about.
“Have you been taught the sun salutation?” Broyles asked, referring to a series of poses in yoga.
“The what?” Meyer responded.
“Have you done the lotus position?” Broyles asked.
“What’s that?” the judge replied.
Ah, thank God for Bikram.
Broyles maintains that the judge will be convinced by the testimony of Cathy Gunther Brown, the religious studies professor who had a statement in the lawsuit. She’s on sabbatical, so a hearing won’t happen until May 20. And even then, if she is still unavailable, it might be delayed longer.
The other notable action from the hearing was that the Coast Law Group, which had offered its services free for the pro-yoga parents of students, will be allowed to be part of the case. It will work with the school district’s attorney, who also is doing the work pro bono.
Posted by Steve